tv State of the Union CNN August 15, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
acolorful incident and inflating it into a cosmic cultural protest because that gives them an excuse to keep pumping it up. with that i'm going to slide right out of this bogus story. that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." i'm howard kurtz. join us again next sunday, 11:00 a.m. eastern for another critical look at the media. state of the union" with candy crowley begins right now. >> for weeks the white house has said that building a mosque and islamic center on private property near ground zero in new york is a local matter. not anymore. >> i understand the emotions that this issue engenders and ground zero is indeed hallowed ground. but let me be clear, as a citizen and as president, i believe that muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. and that includes the right to build a place of worship and a
community center on private property in lower manhattan. >> the president ventured into this red-hot emotional issue late friday at the white house celebration of the muslim holy month of ramadan. he is flying in the face of overwhelming public opposition to the project. a recent cnn poll found only 29% of americans support the plan to build the mosque. 68% are opposed. democrats, independentiindepend republicans all opposed. there is very little middle ground when a country's pain slams up against one of its bedrock values. today, ground zero, respecting the victims while preserving religious tolerance with new york congressman, republican peter king and democrat jerrold nadler. then intra party complications in an uncertain election year with key players in the battle for congress, democrat chris van hollen and republican kevin mccarthy.
and the weather, what in the world is going on, with nasa's tom wagner. i'm candy crowley and this is "state of the union." what happened at ground zero left indelible marks on the american psyche. >> the rest of the world hears you and the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. >> now, almost nine years after the attack on the world trade center, a proposal to build a mosque and islamic center on private land two blocks from the site triggered opposition across the political spectrum and anguish from families of the victims. >> we don't want anything that has to do with terror, fear, fright. we want peace, we want to be able to go down there and remember those who died. >> i beg you not to let them construct it so close to where our loved ones are.
thank you. >> what seemed to be a bold statement from the president became a bit more complicated yesterday when he talked to cnn's ed henry in florida. >> what do you think about the reaction to your speech about the mosque? what about the reaction to the speech? >> well, my intention was to simply let people know what i thought, which was that in this country we treat everybody equally in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion. i was not commenting and i will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. >> the controversy surrounding the mosque proposal resonates deeply with the men who join us now. democratic congressman jerry nadler and republican congressman peter king, both of new york. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. i really appreciate it. congressman king, first to you. i want to be really clear here to our audience, and that is
there does not seem to be anything legally that can be done. this is on private property. there are no laws being broken. it seems like all of the local -- the jurisdictions have spoken and given the green light to this. so why protest it now, because there really is nothing to stop it, and you would like to, yes? >> first of all, i do agree. the muslims have, as everyone else says, the right to practice their religion and they have the right to construct a mosque at ground zero if they wish. what i'm saying, though, is that they should listen to public opinion and they should listen to the deep wounds and anguish this is causing for so many good people. if the imam and community is so intent on building bridges, then they should voluntarily move the mosque away from ground zero and move it uptown or somewhere else, but move it away from that area, the same as the pope directed the carmelite nuns to move a convent away from auschwitz. this is a raw wound and they are pouring salt into it.
i think the president, by the way, is trying to have it both ways. i don't know that anyone is saying muslims do not have the right to practice their religion, but with rights go responsibilities and that's the part of it the president didn't comment on. >> congressman nadler, i do want to talk to you about what the president is saying, but doesn't congressman king have a point and this isn't about laws and freedom of religion, this is about sensitivities. a number of the 9/11 families that i listened to said about what our sensitivity. we understand there's sensitivity to religion and allowing freedom of religion, but what about the sensitivities of those who were primarily the injured ones on this? >> well, first of all, it started off very much about law. i mean newt gingrich said, for instance, a few days ago that no mosque should be built in the united states until churches and synagogues were permitted in saudi arabia. now, we all desire that saudi arabia should have religious liberty but american religious liberty should not be at saudi's level. we're better than saudi arabia, hopefully, and we are.
it is now finally being recognized that government, which is what i said initially, that government has no right and no business to comment one way or the other on whether a church or a synagogue or a mosque should be any why, so long as they meet the legal requirements. frankly if government tried in any way, if the landmarks commission had ruled -- earmarked that building for reasons of opposing the mosque, not for landmark reasons, the courts would have upset it. there's no way for government to block this. >> sure. but if i could of -- >> let me go to your second question. >> but what about the sensitivities of this? >> well, i certainly appreciate the sense tifts of some of the families of 9/11. there are others who have expressed support for it. the press has concentrated on those who oppose it. but frankly, ground zero is hallowed ground. two blocks away, first of all, is not so hallowed ground. second of hall, we should not --
government officials should not be in a position of pressuring people where to build their mosque or their church or whatever. third of all, as much as i respect the sensitivities of people, there's a fundamental mistake behind it and that is how can you -- and i can quote any number of some of the people who have commented on it. what they're saying essentially is how can you put a mosque there when, after all, muslims attacked us on 9/11 and this is ripping open a wound. well, the fallacy is that al qaeda attacked us. islam did not attack us. islam, like christianity, like judaism, like other religions, like many other people, it is only insensitive if you regard islam as the culprit as opposed to al qaeda as the culprit. we were not attacked by muslims. there were muslims who were killed there, there were muslims who ran in as first responders to help and we cannot take any position like that.
>> let me put that to congressman king. you know, the truth is there was a great column today in one of your local papers up there that said if this is not built, if this mosque is blocked, then the terrorists do win. do you worry, because there is a huge difference, which i imagine most people are opposed to this understand, that we were not attacked by islam. we were attacked by those who would twist islam perhaps, but not by a religion itself. and aren't we really going against a basic principle on which this country was founded? >> i have a great respect for jerry nadler but i really disagree with that opinion. the reason i say that is the attack was carried out in the name of islam. and i visited many mosques before september 11th and i was one of the first to defend the muslim community after september 11th. but i've been extremely disappointed since then by so many leaders in the muslim community who do not denounce al qaeda, for instance, even this imam himself that wants to
construct the mosque at ground zero, he said the united states was an accessory to 9/11. he refuses to denounce them as a terrorist organization. so the record is not clear on this. so no doubt to have a 13-story, hundred million dollar edifice within two blocks of ground zero, in fact parts of the jets that crashed into the world trade center actually crashed into this building as well does open the wounds, and does put salt in the wounds. and, again, it's -- the fact that so many people who are involved, i would disagree with jerry. i think the overwhelming majority of 9/11 families are opposed to it. these are good people, not bigoted, not biased. i'm getting calls from jimmy boil, rosemary cane, go down the list, these wounds are just being torn apart for them now and they are heart broken over this. that is what i think the imam and muslim leadership should take into account. i do think as government officials we have the right to speak out. i agree i don't believe there's a role for the government to take any administrative or
executive or legislative action. but i do believe as the president calls a teachable moment, and this is a teachable moment. >> congressman, how far away is far away enough? three blocks, four blocks? i mean how do you -- you know, the sensitivities to 9/11 are not confined to a three-block area. they feel it in california. so, you know, how do you make that geographical decision? >> well, if the president is going to get involved, one way i would suggest is to have the leaders, the developers, the builders in the muslim community meet with people who feel aggrieved or do feel anguished and arrive at a common site. governor paterson suggested he would make state land available in new york for the construction of a mosque. one way to build a bridge is to sit down and get a consensus where it would be acceptable. we do knees mosques. i supposed mosques, obviously. we need churches, temples, mosques, whatever people use to speak with their god or to
receive spiritual inspiration is good for the country. but the symbolism of it at ground zero, within two or three blocks, i believe is wrong. but let the islamic leaders meet with those who feel aggrieved and they can arrive at a common site. congressman nadler, do you think there is common ground? it seems to me there are people who are righteously aggrieved at what everyone in this country agrees was a horrible thing that took place on 9/11 and then there are the principles on which the country is founded. is there space inside there to find something that would make most people happy? >> well, that's really up to the imam and the people around him. they have to decide what they want to do. >> would you like them to? >> i'm not going to comment on that because i don't think it's proper for any government official to pressure them in any way. if i were to say that i think it's a good idea for them to do it, since i'm a government official, that would be government pressuring them. but it's up to them. if they want to do that, they're free to do it. but i want to point out several things. one, there's a mosque in the pentagon, which is also hallowed
ground. no one objects to that. the people who want to build this facility have a mosque a few blocks away from there which no one has objected to. and thirdly, objecting to this mosque is objectionable if you wouldn't object to a church or sip gaug in the same place because that's blaming all islam and you can't blame an entire religion. finally, i would take the sincerity of many of the republican critics of this, peter king very much accepted -- i would understand the sincerity much more if they were supporting as peter is the bill to give health care coverage to the 9/11 heroes and responders who all but 12 republicans voted against in the house that week that. shows sensitivity to the survivors. >> okay. before we get off on the rails of that, and i understand that has been a huge thing in new york and continues to be on capitol hill, but before we get off on that, when we look at the polling on this, whether you are
a republican, a democrat or an independent, the majority is opposed to doing this. so it cannot just be that republicans are playing politics with this. >> well, i didn't say they were playing politics, i said i'd respect their sincerity more. we do not put the bill of rights, we do not put the religious freedom to a vote. the reason we have a bill of rights is that you have your religious rights, your right to freedom of speech from the press, et cetera, whether majorities like you or not, frankly. i hope that people will understand that government has no role in this. peter has now said this. many of the people who have been saying this, who have been on the other side have not been willing to say that. peter has, i appreciate that. as to whether the imam wants to have the mosque somewhere else, that's up to them, and government should not pressure them one way or the other. >> congressman king, finalally to you, what do you make of the
president's comments? it seemed at the white house friday night he was saying i am supporting this mosque being built here and then questioned by our ed henry he seemed to be saying, look, i'm just saying we have a principle here and it's of religious freedom, i'm not saying one way or another whether i support it. does that seem like a change to you? >> yes, it does. the president is a gifted speaker. he's a tremendous communicator. obviously his words were carefully chosen on friday night. the inference or the clear impression everyone came away with was he was saying he was su poetding the mosque at ground zero. heers parse it later on and back away but that was clearly the impression i believe he wanted to leave. all i can think is perhaps there was political pressure from people in his own party who urged him to walk back away from that on saturday. let me just say if jerry nadler had given a speech on this issue, nobody would have doubted where he stood and he wouldn't have been taking it back the next day. if the president was going to get into this, he should have been much more clear, much more precise and you can't change your position from day to day on
an issue that goes to our constitution and extreme sensitivity. that's where i'm critical of the president for not being clear. >> congressman peter king, congressman jerry nadler, thank you both coming in to talk about what's been a really sensitive issue. appreciate it. when we come back, we'll turn to politics and the high stakes in this year's midterm elections with two leading members of congress. with a crazy idea... go farther, faster than mankind ever had before. ♪ they dreamt with their hands, and the world watched and waited with baited breath. while time has marched on and priorities have changed, it's nice to know america still builds rockets. [ engine revving ] ♪ the 2011 corvette... only from chevrolet.
my money. my choice. my meineke. for more on the mosque controversy in lower manhattan and what it may mean come november, we welcome two men who helped direct their party's election year strategy, democrat chris van hollen and republican kevin mccarthy. gentlemen, both in california today, so thanks for the early wake-up. i want to first start out with a poll that cnn took recently about the opinion, public opinion about the plan to build a mosque near ground zero. this was separated down into parties. so democrats, 54% oppose the project. independents, 70% oppose it. republicans, 82%. so first to you, congressman van hollen, would you rather the president have not brought this up? >> candy, first of all, i think that when it comes to 9/11 and the memory of 9/11, we should
all agree that it would be wrong to politicize this issue. i think what the president said yesterday was is that the president of the united states of america, he was simply stating the principle that under our great constitution we do not discriminate against people based on their religion. he went on to say later, as you said with his reporter, that the decision as to where to site the mosque was up to the people of new york. mayor bloomberg and interfaith leaders, christians, jews, muslims, have said they think it's appropriate. others have said it's not. that's a question for the people of new york. but i think the president -- >> can i just interrupt here. >> -- was simply stating the principle. >> but i think that's confusing to people that you come out and you say i stand for the principle of freedom of religion and that includes being able to build a mosque where you want it, even, you know, in downtown manhattan, applause, applause, and then the next day you say, well, i didn't -- i wasn't
saying i supported it, that's up to the people. this is the kind of thing, i think, that people look and think what are they saying. you seem to be saying the same thing. so let me ask you directly because i know you don't want to speak for the president, what do you think about the idea of putting a mosque two blocks away from ground zero? >> candy, i agree with the president. i think the issue is one for the people of new york city. and that's why the mayor of new york city, mayor bloomberg, put together an interfaith group. again, christians, jews, muslims, and on the 9/11 families, some have been in favor of it, some have been against it. i think it's up to the people of new york. they are obviously the folks that are right there at the site of the attack, of 9/11, and it's a question for them. i think in the congress, frankly, where we did have a decision and jerry nadler mentioned this, you didn't pursue it, where a decision was before us, the united states congress, not the people of new york, we saw our republican
colleagues, most of them, voting against a piece of legislation that would provide health care support to the heroes of 9/11, the people who rushed into the burning buildings, as a result have various diseases and we said we should extend the health care fund to provide for their health care. that's a decision for members of congress. we had a vote. with regard to siting the mosque that's a decision for the people of new york. >> one of the reasons i didn't pursue it is it's a little off point for us. we sort of concentrate on this because you also heard, congressman mccarthy, congressman nadler say, listen, we don't look at public opinion polls or public votes when it comes to the principles of the constitution, one of them being religious freedom. how do you parse what the president had to say? >> i think the president -- if chris is saying this is a new york issue, then why did the president engage in it. but if you listen to what he first said, he brought up the exact location and said he
supported it. you look at the poll. there is a sensitivity to that area. yeah, we have the freedom, build a mosque, build more than one mosque, but don't build it there. there are other places to build them. i think that's really what america is saying. >> can i ask you, given those polls i just cited of overwhelmingly in each party people who are opposed to this, is this something you can take to the polls in november? >> well, i think it's an overriding issue. the number one issue is going to be in this election, look, the democrats have been in power in the house and the senate for four years. are people better off than they were four years ago? this is going to be about jobs. this is the first congress for the last -- since the depression, for the entire two years where unemployment has been above 9%. it's an overwhelming issue that's going to be about jobs but this is just another example is why isn't the president spending the time debating about jobs instead of moving into new york and why is he so insensitive about this area as well to engage in a local issue that's causing a problem throughout the nation, when the nation feels the sensitivity and a deep sensitivity to this exact
location. >> congressman van hollen, i think we've now gotten into territory you'd like to talk about, which is the economy. we did not have a great week when it comes to looking at some of those figures, the jobless figure, consumer confidence, a number of things came out. how worried -- as someone who is basically in charge of steering democrats toward not losing the majority, and i'm sure your ultimate goal would be to gain seats, but nonetheless when you look at the economy, has this just gotten to be such a tough sell that you are now increasingly worried about your job -- not your job specifically, but your job of helping elect democrats? >> well, candy, it's interesting to listen to my colleague, kevin mccarthy. a little bit of revisionist history there. he and his colleagues are counting on the fact that the american people are somehow going to have a bout of collective amnesia come these elections because we all know that george bush's last day in office, we saw this country losing 700,000 jobs a month.
it takes time to turn things around. are we where we want to be? of course not. are we much better off than where we were under the bush economic policies that over an eight-year period resulted in over 670,000 lost private sector jobs after that eight-year period? yes, we are. >> when you took the deficit it was only $161 billion. today it's $1.4 trillion. >> if i could just interrupt here. >> the day the president put his hand on the bible, he was facing record deficits. candy, can i just say -- >> the president -- >> kevin, you can say your piece. elections are about the future. and our point here is not to talk about all of the things that created the problems but to point out that kevin and his republican colleagues, when you ask them what their plan for the future is, it is no different than the bush economic policies. in fact it's the bush economic plan on steroids. and people do not want to go
back to that. you heard john boehner, the republican leader the other day, said he wanted to repeal the wall street reform, let those guys be back in charge. we saw what happened there. they have a plan to privatize medicare. in fact kevin voted for that last year as part of the ryan budget proposal, their point person on the budget. so let's talk about issues in this campaign and the choices that voters are going to have as to what the best route forward is. >> congressman mccarthy, i'm going to hold you up for a second because we're going to take a quick break. we will be up next with president obama and sarah palin both taking hits from members of their own party. we'll have a little discussion about that. boss: our breakout session is gonna be great.
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by their own people. at a union rally in kentucky, unemployment rate 10%, a democratic congressman, an obama loyalist, said i'm not real happy with our economic team in the white house. they think it's more important that goldman sachs make money than that you make money. sarah palin took her star power into georgia to help candidate karen handel in a republican primary for governor. handel lost narrowly and shortly thereafter on america's morning radio, jack kington, republican congressman from georgia, took off on the former governor of alaska. >> why sarah palin decided to get in the race is beyond me. what she is doing is dividing the republican party at a time when we don't need to be divided. what it does is it makes republicans say, well, maybe we do need to rethink sarah palin as somebody who does shoot from the hip a little bit too much. >> the obama and palin effect with our congressional guests when we continue.
back now with congressman chris van hollen and kevin mccarthy. congressman mccarthy, when last we met i promised you some time on the economy. listen, just to sum it up, the democrats' bumper sticker which won't fit onto a bumper is, yeah, but if we go back, they are promising the same things that got us into this mess. it seems to me the republican response is they spent all this money and the jobless rate is 9.5. does that sum up this election? >> it's going to be about jobs. but if you look, the democrats have held the gavel for four years. when they took office, the deficit was 161 billion. after the first year it was 152. the next was $1.4 trillion and onward. >> but to be fair. they walked into two wars. >> this is going to be about jobs. this is the first congress since the great depression where unemployment has been above 9%. but republicans have not sat back. we produced our own stimulus that actually focused on the private sector.
focused on small business creation. that's where 70% of all jobs are created. that is the direction of where we would go. their plan was the stimulus plan. more people believe that elvis presley is alive than the stimulus created jobs. that's because what have they spent the money on? they have not created jobs as we move forward and that is what the debate is going to be about. >> congressman if i could just button up the economic part of this, it does seem to me that we are now arguing over who started this and it does seem to me that democrats have taken out after you all because there isn't an idea out there that you haven't seen either executed or proposed in the bush years. what is that idea that's out there that would make a major difference in what's going on right now? >> well, fundamentally, we should look at how we spend our money. we should spend the money in government just as you do in households. >> but didn't they do that in the bush administration? i think that's the problem here. you know, there was some disastrous sunday appearances of -- >> candy, kaenld. >> okay, but i was just.
>> the first thing i would do is end the uncertainty. i would end the uncertainty for business to invest. i'd invest in small business and give a 20% deduction for small business, less than 500 employees, to start going. i would roll back the stimulus. i would go in and make access to credit for small business to invest and go back and look at the spending and curve back that we don't spend more than we're able to bring in. the other thing i would do is reform congress where bills would have to be read before they were voted on. i would make sure that committees were actually debating builds and they were moving on to the floor. you've got to find the private sector be able to go. that's where small business is. that is where the function should be moved forward. >> candy, i've got to -- >> okay. i've got some other big questions but go ahead. >> first of all, i know, but look, kevin talked about extending access to credit to small businesses. we had a vote on that bill in the house. he and his colleagues voted against it.
weedi we got it out of the house and it's in the senate. he talks about fiscal discipline. we had a vote to restore the statutory pay-go law that kept the deficits down, in fact led to lock-term surpluses. they voted against that and now they're talking about -- >> kevin, kevin, you had your chance. kevin, you had your chance. >> hang on, congressman mccarthy. let him wrap this up. >> kevin, there is. there's a budget enforcement act that's below the president's proposed freeze on non-security discretionary spending and you have proposed blowing a $700 billion hole in the deficit over the next ten years because we want to make sure that we extend tax relief to middle class taxpayers, 98% of the american people, you're holding that hostage until you get a break for the folks at the very top, even though it was proven during the eight years of the bush administration, which ended with net job loss, that that was not a big creator. we need fiscal discipline. we need to send a message that
we're serious in order to get our economy. you guys say, oh, let's blow another $700 billion. >> let me take a time out here simply to move us along here, if i could. you know, here's -- i mean i think we get where the two of you all are coming in terms of the economy and i think we get where the economy is right now and that's a battle we'll see who wins in november. i wanted to move you on to some of the specifics of the campaign that is before us. president obama gave his saturday morning radio address, which now is online as well, in which he talked about republicans and what they wanted to do about social security, which is just celebrated its 75th anniversary. take a listen to this. >> they're pushing to make privatizing social security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in congress this fall. >> so, i have not heard republicans say that privatizing social security is a key part of their agenda if they take over. this seems to me to be one of those things that gets out
there, whichever side comes, which is an exaggeration of where people are. do you think it's true that your colleagues in the house are aiming to get rid of social security and put it all in the private sector? >> yes, i do. we know that the republican john boehner was very vocal in support of the bush plan to privatize social security, which, as you know, would have resulted in millions of senior citizens in this country losing a whole lot of their retirement savings during this economic meltdown. and the fact of the matter is they would like to send more of the social security money to wall street. that's been a position the republicans have held for a long time and their leader, the guy who wants to become speaker -- >> is that not the implication and do you think that's true? >> well, yes, effectively because if you take -- if you partially -- if you privatize social security, if you privatize it, the end result will be that that money is not
there. there's not a stable source of retirement money because we'll be literally gambling it on wall street. and that has been a long-held position of our republican colleagues. and they all voted last year, candy, on a budget that would also privatize medicare, it would cut it by 75%, it would turn it into a voucher program, and a senior would be given a voucher and say, hey, you go out with this voucher that's been cut by 75% and go get your insurance. they voted on that. that's part of their -- >> candy -- >> let me let congressman mccarthy in there. i have something to play for you too but go ahead and respond to that. >> but this is a scare tactic to try to get off jobs. social security is a fundamental problem. we should sit down and start talking and make sure we secure it. republicans want to secure it and actually make it there for the future. one of the reasons why it's actually losing money right now is because there's so few jobs out there, fewer people are paying in. we need to get the job creation going and this is the exact tactic of the democrats, why
they have not proud a budget the first time since '74, why their job plan has failed, did not move america forward. they're trying to have a scare tactic to move forward where republicans have not proud this plan. if chris wants to talk about medicare, there is only one party going into this election that has cut medicare by $500 billion and that was the democratic party. >> i have to cut you off both here, i'm sorry. i've totally run out of time. you need to read the trustee's report according to congressman van hollen. let me know what you think of it. thank you both very, very much. i thought it was congressman nadler and congressman king i couldn't control. all the time it was you. by my count it's 6:30 in california. everybody back to bed. thank you very much. >> thanks for having us. from record heat to deadly floods, trying to make sense. extreme weather when we come back.
unprecedent and deadly rains, tornados and earthquakes in places that haven't seen them in decades, extreme summer, the global edition. early this month a block of ice four times the size of manhattan broke away from greenland, the largest iceberg to form off the country in nearly 50 years. up to 20 million pakistanis are homeless in the worst monsoon flooding in pakistan in 80 years. deluges have killed an estimated 1200 people in china in the worst year of flooding there in decades. record heat has triggered wildfires covering moscow in smog. much of this country has also felt a summer of blistering record-breaking heat. and last month a twister packing 100-mile-per-hour winds ripped through the bronx, new york, the first tornado there in more than 35 years. the weather has been chaotic, deadly and costly. in the u.s. the power infrastructure is being pushed to its limits. during the past two decades in the u.s., non-disaster blackouts
have increased 124%. going back to 1940, some years the earth was warming, some years it was cooling until the late '70s. then it was all in the same direction, up. noaa says 2010 is on track to be the hottest on record. if this is the new normal, what does that mean, and how do we prepare? we'll ask nasa scientist tom wagner next.
here to help make sense of what's happening outside your window is tom wagner. he directs nasa's efforts to understand earth's frozen surfaces. it's so easy to talk to you because i'll ask you what everyone says to me to do in this segment, what is going on with the weather? is this just an odd season or are we turning the corner on something? >> it's a really good question and the short answer is this. the things we're seeing all over the world from things like heat waves to increased monsoons, that's exactly what was predicted to happen as the planet warms up. but it's also at the cutting
edge of the resurge in terms of assigning specific mechanisms to any one of these things. thinking about it long-term the satellite and other records tell us 2010 is already on track to be the warmest year of all time, okay, so it does really look like it's warming up. but in terms of saying this heat wave in russia was specifically caused by global warming, that takes the benefit of hindsight. >> so we'll only know what's happening ten years from now. >> right. but that doesn't mean the planet isn't warming up on average and that's what people have to realize. there's multiple lines of evidence that tell us this. and the impacts from this range from everything from the heat waves and the monsoons to things like sea level rise from melting of the ice at the poles. >> i know from reading some of the things you've done and talking to you prior to this, you are especially looking at coastal living and thinking that looking into the future, if the weather pattern or the, you know, the overall look stays the
same, what has to change on earth to cope with the warming of the earth? >> well, this is what we're trying to figure out right now. nasa has 14 satellites over the earth measuring everything from temperature to wind speed to precipitation to the changes in the polar ice. what we're trying to do is put that and also other federal agencies, we're trying to pull all that information together to try to understand how the planet is going to change. in particular how is north american weather going to change. some people say what's going to happen is the west will get drier, the east will get wetter. also how will we cope with sea level rise. one thing people may want to check out is places like globalchange.gov where there are answers on what will happen. as the sea levels rise there will be great changes to the shape of the coast lines. you'll see increased erosion in summer years. you'll also see impact to wetland s which is important to everything from bird habitats to places that catch polluted waters running off the land. the reason that we're so worried
about this is that satellite studies and on the ground studies tell us the ice around greenland and antarctica is melting and flowing into the oceans at ever-increasing rates. >> society s the sea level is increasing. >> right now it's rising at three millimeters a year. if you extrapolate that out we're talking a foot in the next 100 years. >> so if it's a foot in the next 100 years, i don't mean to belittle this, but a foot in the next 100 years on the coast of california, basically people could stay in their houses. >> yes. but what you would get is dramatic changes to the beaches and coastal areas, you also need to think about the storm surge being higher. take like new york. a lot of the transportation infrastructure is only a foot above sea level. so while it doesn't sound like a lot it could be depending on how much a storm surge would put up. but a foot is a minimum, it's not even a real estimate. the real estimates we go are higher than that, more like two
feet to a meter. part of the problem is we don't understand how the ice floes into the ocean from greenland and antarctica. we just saw this 100 square mile chunk of glacier break off from the northern tip of greenland. it used to be just a few years ago we only that we were losing ice from southern greenland. now we're losing it from the north. in antarctica we used to think we were losing it from the northern parts. >> in my lifetime or your lifetime, which is probably a little longer, do you think that we have to make changes, that we will see things, the electrical grid, maybe it will be overpowder if the temperature keeps getting hotter, or are we talking a couple of generations out when the actual effects on daily living come? >> if you look at globalchange.gov website there's some hard information on this. we'll have to make changes to adapt to a warmer planet and rising sea levels within our lifetimes. >> like?
>> like of at least a few feet. >> but what sort of changes? like what kind of changes? >> probably a third to half of americans live in coastal areas and recently a lot of the development of new properties was in coastal areas. as i understand it the way that those communities were built, they consider some local erosion but not erosion accompanying sea level rise. that's something that we need to think about. >> and they, what, put more o'how do you do that other than move back? >> it's really complicated because it turns out sea level doesn't just rise the same place all over the place. some areas will see higher amounts of sea level rise, some will see lower. you need to consider all different kinds of things, everything from how close is your infrastructure sea level, how close are your houses, how are you going to continue to change. but there's one other kind of big noint all this, right? rising co 2 is causing the planet to warm up. we're still going to see some
level of warming for the next century or two but we're also setting the stage for the planet to be in a different state for the coming few hundred years. the amounts of co 2. takes us back to a time when there were forests in antarctica. that's how different the world could be. i'm not saying all the ice in antarctica will melt in the next hundred years but we will see a few feet of sea level rise at least. tom wagner of nasa, thank you so much for trying to explain this weather to us. bear it for now and look on your dot-com sight. >> climate.nasa.gov. and at the top of the hour, fareed zakaria will have a discussion on global warming and its implications. up next, a check of the top stories, and then a fun fight at 30,000 feet. cabin attendants and passengers aren't always grumpy. (voice 1) traffic's off the chart... (voice 2) they're pinging more targets...
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truck plowed into a crowd of people in an off-road race in california. the incident occurred in the lucerne valley area of san bernardino county. no word on the truck driver's condition or whether any arrests are pending. south korea's president has proposed a plan to reunite his country with north korea. in a speech marking the 65th anniversary of korea's independence from japanese colonial rule president lee myung-bak said the two countries should form a peace community and stressed the importance of a denuclearized north korea. senator john kerry says he intends to tell president hamid karzai that the u.s. congress is growing increasingly wary about corruption in afghanistan. kerry says as of now many members of congress don't view the afghan government as credible or karzai as a genuine reformer. kerry will visit kabul later this week. with oil no longer gushing into the gulf of mexico, the obama administration is reportedly considering an early
end to its moratorium on deepwater drilling. william riley, the co-chair of the presidential commission investigating the oil spill, tells the associated press he doesn't see why rigs that have passed inspections can't resume drilling while a broader safety review is under way. and question answered. would he or wouldn't he? the big question hanging over president obama's weekend trip to panama city, florida. would he take a dip to show gulf coast beaches are beautiful and safe? those are your top stories here on "state of the union." up next, clearing the air at 30,000 feet.
-so you're thinking...? i agree. preferred. only meineke has options... and now 50% off brake pads and shoes. my money. my choice. my meineke. it tells you a little something about the flying experience these days when a jetblue flight attendant is seen as a cult hero for, we are told, cursing at a passenger with an outsized overhead bag, praising the passengers who have been nice over his 20-year career, and then picking up a couple of
beers and deploying an exit chute for his getaway. it's really hard to know what to make of that or of this video. it was posted online by a passenger on a late june lufthansa flight, frankfurt-bound from tel aviv. we are told by a lufthansa spokeswoman that this is the airline's first ever pillow fight in flight. she said a group of french passengers began to playfully flow the pillows back and forth when one pillow accidentally hit the german flight attendant. so she joined in. to laughter. lufthansa said of the flight attendant she handled it quite well and we commend her. the attendant quickly exited, to applause. we are not sure what the takeaway is here. maybe it's that passengers are not as short-tempered when you give them pillows. or maybe it's this from a posted comment. "if this happened on a u.s. flight, the plane would have returned to terminal and everyone on board would have been draggedff to jail. fun is not tolerated on u.s.